How Often Should You Clean Ducts in Your Building?


Building managers understand the importance of indoor air quality. It’s the air that workers in office buildings and students in classrooms breathe every day. It’s the air that patients at healthcare facilities and visitors to spas and restaurants take into their lungs. The transmission of airborne viruses is scary enough, but dust, mold, and allergens also pose threats to the health of building occupants. However, many business owners and managers wonder, how often should you clean ducts? Here is some guidance on when to clean ducts, but first, let’s look at the importance of maintaining clean ducts.

Benefits of Maintaining Proper IAQ

A link exists between poor indoor air quality and lower test scores in students as well as lower worker morale. When the air we breathe indoors contains allergens, mold, bacteria, and other pathogens this makes us sick. Poor IAQ leads to Sick Building Syndrome which causes headaches, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. It also triggers allergies and asthma and lowers cognitive performance. It causes employees to miss workdays and lowers productivity. A loss of productivity impacts the bottom line of business.

On the other hand, a steady supply of fresh outside air keeps employees healthy. It improves productivity and strengthens the bottom line. It also allows the system to operate more efficiently which saves money.

Maintaining HVAC equipment is a way to keep IAQ at healthy levels and energy costs low. Clean ducts are a big part of that. The question isn’t should you clean HVAC ductwork, but how often should you clean ducts to maintain a healthy indoor environment.

How Often Should You Clean Ducts?

While no set industry regulation exists for how often you should clean ducts in your building, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) suggests every three to five years. The Environmental Protection Agency, on the other hand, advises cleaning when ducts are clogged with dirt, debris, or vermin. In other words, on an as-needed basis. With no hard and fast rules for duct cleaning, building managers should err on the side of caution. 

The fact is, how often you should clean ducts in your building depends on factors such as the age of the building, type, and use of the structure, as well as geographic region. It also depends on the last time of the last cleaning.

For our part, Pure Air Control Solutions provides the systems and methods to gauge HVAC performance and correct issues before they become problems. We do this with an HVAC Hygiene Assessment as well as duct cleaning.

HVAC Hygiene Assessment

A lot of factors impact HVAC operation. For example, duct leaks and worn-out insulation impair the proper operation of the system. Coils clogged with dirt and debris also impact operation. Building managers understand the importance of regular cleaning and maintenance, however, many do not know how often to schedule a duct cleaning.

Scheduling an HVAC Hygiene Assessment provides the answers. This assessment uses a combination of visual inspection, testing, and analysis to gauge system performance. It determines the impact of the system on IAQ and operating costs. Setting a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule comes after the completion of the assessment.

PURE Duct 

After completion of the assessment, we provide our recommendation for improvement. In many cases, this includes a hygienic cleaning of the ductwork. Our PURE-Duct method does this using specialized equipment to get deep inside of the ductwork. It uses high-pressure air turbulence to knock loose dirt and debris. After that comes the removal of particles with an industrial-strength vacuum system with a HEPA filter. Air cleaning technology, such as bipolar ionization and UV lights, is ineffective in dirty ducts. HVAC that is properly sealed, cleaned, and balanced with correct filtration helps maintain clean ducts.

Get Guidance on How Often Should You Clean Ducts

Building managers know the importance of maintaining healthy buildings. An HVAC assessment and duct cleaning give them the data and tools to achieve their IAQ goals. This results in increased efficiency, lower energy costs, and healthy building occupants. For more information on how often you should clean ducts in your building, contact Pure Air Control Services at 1-800-422-7873 or email us here.